February 12th, Saturday
2000 RUB per person
The wooden mansion with a garden around it, two steps from the Garden Ring bustle, remained barely changed since the time Tolstoys lived here. Over 5000 genuine items recreate the lifestyle of this extraordinary family.
The writer spent 19 winters in this house, after buying it in 1828. By that time he already was a revered author of 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina". But he wished he was someone else.
Several years before he had underwent a deep spiritual crisis (later he would call it 'awakening') and as a consequence changed the views on all his previous noble lifestyle and on what he had written before. He urged to live in simplicity and labor. He started to dress and wash by himself, without a servant's assistance. He cooked his own breakfast while everyone else in the house were sleeping until late. Then he walked out of his house yard and walked to the Sparrow Hills to chop wood with a group of workers - this was his morning exercise.
Every spring the family resettled back to their country side estate Yasnaya Polyana, away from the city. Wearing peasant clothes count Tolstoy plowed fields and mowed hay. He became a role model for some and a subject of jokes for the others.
Here is just one of many ridiculing the count's new habits and suspecting hum in showing off.
A train is passing Yasnaya Polyana. Two passengers are looking from the window. "Look, isn't the man mowing hay over there count Tolstoy?" "Are you kidding? Their highness comes out for mowing only to express trains".
Did you know that Tolstoy was one of the first vegetarians in Russia? Read about it here: Tolstoy against "stomach vegetarians"